Have you ever wondered if your employees feel a sense of belonging to the company? Have you noticed a difference in how different employees communicate and express themselves? This difference might be primarily due to their levels of social wellness. In this article, we recommend 20 social wellness activities to help your employees in the workplace.
Before we proceed, let us give a brief introduction to social wellness.
Social wellness refers to one’s relationships and connections with others. Social wellness in the workplace is the connections your employees have with their peers and leaders. It also refers to the overall sense of belonging employees feel with your organization. It is one of the nine dimensions of wellness that affects an employee’s overall health.
Read our blog on: What Is Social Wellness and Why It Matters in the Workplace
Employers and HR Managers like you need to pay heed to your employees’ social well-being. Poor social well-being will harm employee engagement and productivity, thereby hampering company growth.
20 Social Wellness Activities for Your Workplace
Incorporating social wellness activities in the workplace has many benefits. These activities reduce workplace stress and improve employee health. Moreover, they also improve office communication and builds a sense of loyalty and trust in the organization. These factors ultimately contribute to employee retention.
There is plenty of fish in the sea when choosing a social wellness activity for your employees. Here are the top 20 that we recommend:
- Practicing Mindfulness and Guided Meditation
- Forming a Weekly Sharing Circle
- Practicing Onsite and Virtual Yoga
- Participating in 5K Runs
- Forming a Sports Club
- Participating in Marathons and Walkathons
- Organizing Shared Laughter Sessions
- Scheduling Walking Meetings
- Organizing Fitness Challenges
- Having Impromptu Contests
- Celebrating Work Anniversaries
- Organizing Themed Dress Up Days
- Having a Games Room
- Organizing Company Retreats
- Acknowledging Peers
- Organizing Office Quizzes
- Forming a Book Club
- Organizing Team Lunches
- Incentivizing Healthy Activities
- Organizing Team Building Activities
Let us discuss these in further detail.
Practicing Mindfulness and Guided Meditation
Your employees are often dealing with a wide range of issues. In the absence of the right tools to deal with these problems, their quality of work-life suffers.
Employees can learn about the right tools by practicing mindfulness and guided meditation at work. Mindfulness is the practice of being aware and accepting of one’s circumstances, feelings, and emotions. As an employer, you should encourage your employees to practice mindfulness in the workplace.
There are several office meditation techniques for employees to practice together. This will help them harbor a sense of internal peace and nurture their relationships with their coworkers and superiors.
Forming a Weekly Sharing Circle
Stress can have debilitating effects on the human mind and body. These effects multiply when people have no one to share them with. This is where sharing circles can help.
Sharing circles are safe and judgment-free spaces. These circles enable people to come together and share their issues and stressors. When your employees have someone to share their problems and fears with, they feel heard. They get access to different perspectives and solutions for their problems.
Thus, having a weekly sharing circle at work will make employees empathetic and kind to each other. These circles act as support systems that improve employees’ social wellness.
Practicing Onsite and Virtual Yoga
Incorporating yoga in the workplace has many benefits. Among them is the improvement of employee social well-being.
Workplace yoga relaxes employees’ bodies and minds, thereby reducing their irritability and aggression. It builds a sense of harmony among employees. As a result, their social connections thrive too. Yoga improves both physical and mental health, thereby increasing employee productivity.
In case you have a remote workforce, you can organize virtual yoga sessions for them. The benefits remain the same.
Participating in 5K Runs
Encourage your employees to participate in 5K runs. These runs can be linked to a cause or a theme. Such events are a fun and meaningful way to build and improve connections with coworkers.
Running has numerous benefits on employee health. In addition to that, running for a cause that benefits society will give your employees an added sense of satisfaction.
Forming a Sports Club
Playing sports instills and encourages team spirit and feelings of belongingness. Form a sports club with interested employees. It’s much more fun to organize sports that employees can play in teams, such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, etc.
It would help if you also encouraged employees to join local sports clubs and participate in different sports leagues. Go a step further and offer to pay a part or all of the joining fees for your staff.
Participating in Marathons and Walkathons
Organize marathons and walkathons for your employees. Much like the 5K runs, marathons and walkathons have many health benefits for your workforce. You can learn about the many benefits of walkathons here.
These events instill a sense of healthy competition and camaraderie among employees. During these challenging COVID times, corporations can consider organizing virtual marathons for employees.
Virtual marathons are cost-effective and allow for much-needed social distancing. Employees can participate at their own pace. Their distances are tracked through a fitness app on their phones.
In February of this year, Vantage Fit organized a Global Corporate Virtual Walkathon. It was a major success, with over 70 companies participating from around the world.
Organizing Shared Laughter Sessions
Because of the ongoing pandemic, there is uncertainty in every aspect of people’s lives. Both personal and professional lives have suffered massive setbacks. Naturally, with so many unprecedented changes in place, workplace stress is at an all-time high. As you know, a stressed workforce is not a healthy workforce.
According to an American Institute of Stress report, 50% of employees require help managing their stress.
To de-stress your team, consider organizing stress-relief activities in your workplace. One fun and innovative way to do this is to have shared laughter sessions. Laughter is known to improve people’s health and immunity.
You can buy your employees tickets to an online stand-up comedy show. You can also invite an artist to do an online improv sketch exclusively for your remote employees. You can also organize different games and activities that lighten up your employees’ moods.
Scheduling Walking Meetings
Instead of the usually seated meetings, switch things up a notch. Turn your regular meetings into walking meetings. Many studies have pointed to the correlation between walking and a happy and healthy mind.
Walking meetings are a little less formal in nature. It gives employees the chance to loosen up and be more confident among their peers and superiors. You can organize these walking meetings either indoors or outdoors.
We suggest you have outdoor walking meetings once every week. The light and breeze from the surrounding will uplift your employees’ moods!
Organizing Fitness Challenges
Office fitness challenges are another fun social wellness activity for the workplace. These challenges can run from a week to a few months, depending on several factors. A few examples of these fitness challenges include:
- Cycle to Work Challenge
- Nutrition Challenge
- Water Challenge
- New Day, New Workout Challenge
- Take the Stairs Challenge
- The 7-Minute Workout Challenge
You can easily incorporate these fitness challenges with your corporate wellness program. Employees can participate in teams, or they can indulge in healthy competition.
Don’t know where to begin with a corporate wellness program yet? Our guide will help you!
Having Impromptu Contests
Apart from fitness challenges, you can also organize impromptu contests in the workplace. Such impromptu contests will help break the ice on difficult days.
These can be anything from “who can hold a plank for the longest” to “who can perfect a yoga pose in the least time.”
Celebrating Work Anniversaries
Your employees are the most prized assets in your organization. What better way to let them know this than celebrating employee work anniversaries?
This is the best time to let employees know that they are valued. Please send an email to the team to remind them of their peers’ work anniversaries. You as a leader can also send them a handwritten note or email, thanking them for their service.
Doing so will boost employee morale and increase their faith in the company.
Organizing Themed Dress Up Days
Some days can be just about fun.
Organize a dress-up day with your employees. These are much more fun with a theme. For instance, ask them to dress up in something green for Earth Day. Or, ask them to dress up like a favorite character from a book or a movie!
The ideas are limitless here!
Having a Games Room
Have a dedicated games room in the workplace. Such a space is helpful to employees when they need to de-stress and take work breaks in between. Such a room will offer your employees the chance to converse and bond with each other.
Organizing Company Retreats
Plan and fund a company retreat once the pandemic dies down. Going on a trip together is a great way to improve relations with coworkers. You and your employees will get to know each other beyond your work roles. Thus, there’s a better chance of understanding each other and improving your social networking.
With Vantage Circle, employees can recognize each others’ efforts on a public feed. They can also present each other with spot rewards for their determination, enthusiasm, and hard work. Such validation boosts employee morale, makes them feel valued, and improves their social wellness.
Organizing Office Quizzes
Office quizzes are fun and informative at the same time! Divide your employees into different teams and quiz them on trivia related to the company.
The team which answers the most questions gets a reward! Plus, everybody gets to learn something about their organization!
Forming a Book Club
Book clubs are an innovative way of forming strong employee relations at work.
Encourage employees to form reading clubs, where they can share reading recommendations and feedback. Such groups formed over shared interests will lead to healthy relationships.
Read our blog on: What is the Role of an HR in Employee Relationship Management
Organizing Team Lunches
There’s hardly any bonding like that of bonding over food and shared meals. Team lunches and potlucks are a great way to unwind and celebrate company milestones as a team.
You can also organize lunch and learn sessions with your employees. Encourage discussion on any interesting topic or brainstorm ideas with peers. Ensure that every employee is comfortable enough to pitch their views and opinions.
Incentivizing Healthy Activities
It is crucial to recognize and incentivize employees to participate in any of these social wellness activities. Doing so will give your employees a much-needed dose of external motivation.
Download our complete and comprehensive guide on Employee Motivation to keep your workforce motivated.
A corporate wellness solutions platform like Vantage Fit is ideal in such cases. With Vantage Fit, you can acknowledge every big and small effort your employees make towards wellness. This incentivization can be either monetary or non-monetary. Moreover, the real-time leaderboard acts as a motivation for employees to improve their activity levels.
Organizing Team-Building Activities
Team-building activities are also social wellness activities. They are effective ways to build a culture of teamwork in the workplace. When employees come together and work in sync, it improves their communication with each other. They have an increased sense of trust and confidence in each other, thus improving their social wellness.
Here are a few examples of team-building activities that you can introduce at the workplace:
- Blind Stick
- Scavenger Hunt
- Tied Together
- What’s My Name
- Birthday Line Up
- Mystery Dinner
- Two Truths And A Lie
- What’s My Name
Want a few ideas on Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Employees? Check out this article!
Coworkers are hardly the best of friends. But the idea of improving social wellness in the workplace is about building a framework of trust, mutual respect, and healthy communication among employees.
We hope that the ideas discussed above help you find a starting point. Have any more ideas? We would love to hear from you in the comments!
We are excited for you to start your corporate wellness journey! Every step counts!